Fuel supply problems in Mexico are worsening today with long lines at gas stations in certain states due to the difficulties of tankers to reach the entire country from the Pemex terminals guarded by the military.
In the most affected states, such as Guanajuato, Jalisco, Hidalgo, Puebla or Michoacan, vehicles crowd into the few petrol stations that remain open to try to get to their jobs, take their children to school or go to the hospital if necessary.
In the case of Mexico City, problems are beginning to arrive in the southern part of the capital, and nervousness is felt throughout the city.
In some gas stations are the drivers themselves who try to maintain order to avoid nervousness and security problems before the risk of chaos arising from the rush in the supply of gasoline.
If supply difficulties continue over time, many daily activities may be at risk and economic losses, especially in large cities, can be millions.
The situation is not caused by the shortage of fuel in the country, as explained by the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at a press conference, but by the plan against fuel theft that was launched in early December of 2018.
This plan changed the supply model of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to the service stations because the pipelines through which gasoline is usually transported are the easiest access for fuel thieves, popularly known as the "huachicoleros" "
López Obrador said that "since we started the plan, 8,540 'pipes' (tankers) have been stolen less (…) which meant a saving of 2,500 million pesos (about 129 million dollars)".
The continuous theft of gasoline from pipelines is one of the big problems for Pemex with annual losses millionaires sometimes with the very coexistence of employees of the company.
Before the plan was stolen a daily average of 787 tankers that enter and leave the refineries, while now it has dropped to 177.
"We have to control the pipelines without there being a shortage," the president added.
Even so, the leftist leader said that the problems are reduced to "annoyance in some places."
The difficulties, which employ 4,900 Army and Navy personnel who assumed security in the refineries and supply terminals, will begin to be exceeded as of Friday, according to the forecasts of the gas association Onexpo Nacional.
According to this organization, which today showed its support to the authorities in a statement, although it is necessary to apply extraordinary support measures, it is likely that on Friday the supply is normalizing in some cities if the supply "continues this rhythm".
From now on, the association considers it a priority to get gasoline from the coast to the center of the country, focusing on using tankers by road, given the impossibility of using the pipelines.
Onexpo and the government today asked consumers to calm down, in order to avoid panic purchases and long queues like those seen in several states and also from today in Mexico City.
The population is beginning to wonder if this plan to reduce the number of "huachicoleros" (people who engage in the illegal activity of theft and sale of fuel) is being carried out in the right way or if nervousness and chaos take over of Mexico in the coming days.